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Egypt calls for partial lifting of arms embargo on Libya

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi meets with Commander of the Libyan national army Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, in Cairo, Egypt, on 13 May 2017 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday called for a partial lifting of the UN arms embargo on the Libyan army.

In a statement to foreign media on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Al-Sisi reiterated his country’s support for the Libyan army as the national body authorised to maintain security and order in the north African state.

The Egyptian president warned that “the current situation there must not continue as it attracts terrorists in Syria to head toward fragile areas and consequently threatens Libya’s neighbouring countries.”

In March 2011, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed resolution 1970, requesting all member states “prevent the sale or supply of arms and related materials to Libya”.

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Last year, the UNSC extended the embargo for an additional year due to the “emergence of armed entities” fighting in the oil-rich country.

Last Monday, the UN Security Council approved another resolution to extend the international sanctions imposed on Libya until 20 February 2020, due to illegal oil exports.

Since the overthrow of the longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in a popular uprising in 2011, Libya has been involved in a power struggle which has led to security chaos. There are currently three governments in the country with Brigadier General Khalifa Haftar heading one in Benghazi, the UN-backed Government of National Accord in Tripoli headed by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, and the Tobruk-based government of Abdullah Al-Thinni.

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